Might ObamaCare’s new rules and regulations being playing some role in the increases? There’s good reason to think the law itself is at least partially responsible.

It’s seems likely, for example, that ObamaCare’s new coverage mandates have contributed to some of the increase in the individual market: Consulting firm Aon Hewitt estimates that those premiums have gone up about 5 percent as a result of the law.

That explains some of the increase. But not all of it. Which is why those looking for another culprit should consider the possibility that a provision intended to help consumers get better value for their money is actually costing them higher premiums.

That provision, often referred to as the 80/20 rule, sets mandatory medical loss ratios (MLRs) for health insurers. The MLR is an accounting requirement which says that insurers have to spend at least 80 percent of their total premium revenue on medical expenses, leaving just 20 percent for administrative costs, marketing, and other non-medical expenditures. Any insurer that fails to meet this target must issue rebates to customers. This year, insurers rebated about $1 billion.